13 Feb '13, 2pm
Drumbeat: February 13, 2013
Posted by Leanan on February 13, 2013 - 10:47am Diesel shortage pushes Egyptians to the brink Diesel supplies are drying up as a cash-strapped government struggles to cap a mounting bill for subsidies it has promised the IMF it will reform to secure an elusive $4.8 billion loan desperately needed to keep a sagging economy afloat. The situation appears near breakdown with growing shortages, unsustainable subsidies and foreign exchange reserves running out, raising the risk that fuel bottlenecks lead to food shortages and pose a risk to political stability. Foreign reserves are down below $15 billion, less than three months' imports, despite deposits from Qatar and Turkey. The Egyptian pound has lost 8 percent of its value this year and a black market has emerged for hard currency. The nation's strategic reserve of diesel fuel is down to three days' supply, the official MENA...